CPI dares to question CPM in Kerala

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on November 21, 2010

Perhaps for the first time in the more-than-three-decade history of Kerala’s LDF, its lesser constituent CPI has openly turned against front leader CPI(M) over its leaders’ tendencies of corruption and arrogance.

CK Chandrappan, newly elected State secretary of the CPI, on Sunday asked the CPI(M) to review its approach to allegations of corruption against its State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the Rs 374.5-crore SNC Lavalin scam. This is the first time the CPI has made such a demand.

Chandrappan called for serious discussions in the CPI(M) on whether the allegations of corruption against Pinarayi Vijayan had affected the credibility of the entire LDF. Pinarayi Vijayan, the first-ever CPI(M) Politbureau member to face court in a corruption case, is seventh accused in the case, according to the CBI chargesheet.

The CPI secretary said in a television interview that the CPI(M) should examine whether the people would endorse its decision to face the corruption case against Pinarayi politically. After Kerala Governor RS Gavai cleared Pinarayi’s prosecution, the CPI(M) had held a campaign alleging that the Centre was misusing the CBI to settle scores with it for withdrawing support for the UPA regime.

Chandrappan even claimed that the CPI was a better organization than the CPI(M) politically saying “We hold fast to the communist values”. “I can proudly state that no serious allegations have been leveled against the CPI (Ministers),” he said. The CPI has four Ministers in the Kerala Cabinet.

The CPI had till now followed a policy of not reacting to the allegations against the CPI(M) secretary in the scam related to the KSEB deal with Canadian utility company SNC Lavalin. The party had hitherto adopted a stand that the scam was entirely a CPI(M) headache and it was capable of handling the allegation itself.

Chandrappan also told the television channel that the CPI(M) should learn to change the language it had been using for criticizing the Catholic Church. He admitted that the Christian Church would have its own approach to the communists. But the communists’ reaction to their approach should be guarded, he indicated.

“The Church will have its position and the communists will have theirs. I don’t think the CPI(M)’s approach towards the Church was in any way wrong,” Chandrappan said. But in today’s world, there were certain ways of expressing their objections to the minorities and the middle class, he added.

According to observers, Chandrappan’s statements on the CPI(M) and its secretary Pinarayi Vijayan were indications of how the CPI was now going to assert itself in the LDF in the aftermath of the setback of the Left in the Lok Sabha and civic elections, the strategies of which were formulated single-handedly by the Marxists.

They say that the very step of electing Chandrappan, known as a clean but straightforward communist leader, as the party secretary was intended at bringing in this change as there was a general feeling in the party that the former secretary, Veliyam Bhargavan, had not been effectively opposing the “hegemonic attitude” of the CPI(M) within the LDF.

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